Edinburgh, Loch Ness and the Highlands - 3 day tour
Edinburgh, Loch Ness and the Highlands
3 day / 2 night tour
From central London, speed northwards by train to Edinburgh. Check-in to a city-centre hotel for a two-night stay, then explore the historic Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Experience a full-day excursion through the picturesque Scottish Highlands to visit Loch Ness. On the last day, explore more of Edinburgh on an open-top bus tour before returning to London by train.
High Speed Train - travel from London to Edinburgh in just under 4.5 hours
Edinburgh Castle - visit this mighty fortress to see the Scottish Crown Jewels
The Highlands - marvel at the natural beauty of Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and the Cairngorms National Park
Loch Ness - take to the water on a short monster-spotting cruise
Edinburgh Tour - discover the Georgian New Town and the cobbled streets of the medieval Old Town
Movie locations - Brave, Skyfall and Deacon Brodie
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - London - Edinburgh - Edinburgh Castle
After a swift journey by high-speed train from London to Edinburgh, settle into your city-centre hotel for your two-night stay in Scotland.
This afternoon explore the history and architecture of Edinburgh's medieval Royal Mile. For centuries this famous thoroughfare was the hub of life in Edinburgh.
A gentle stroll along any part of this historic street will take you in the footsteps of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and a host of colourful Scottish characters.
The highlight is Edinburgh Castle which sits on a crag and provides a striking backdrop to Edinburgh's skyline.
During your visit discover dramatic tales of siege, warfare, dark deeds and intrigue. Visit the Royal Apartments to view the stunning Scottish Crown Jewels then see Mons Meg (a giant cannon) and St Margaret's Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh.
There are also spectacular views of Edinburgh to enjoy from the battlements.
A short stroll from the castle, you'll find the popular Scotch Whisky Experience. It tells the story of Scotland's national drink and the traditions behind whisky making.
Edinburgh has lots of quality restaurants to choose from, with many specialising in Scottish fish and seafood. Look out for popular "pre-theatre" menus to enjoy good food at significant savings if you eat early.
Visit our Scotland Travel Tips page for helpful planning information.
Overnight: Motel One, Edinburgh or similar (2 nights)
Day 2 - Loch Ness and the Highlands Excursion
The Loch Ness Monster - fact or fiction? We'll find out on this superb tour through the glorious Scottish Highlands.
From Edinburgh, our journey northwards starts with a drive to Stirling, with its dramatically sited castle overlooking the surrounding countryside.
The journey continues through Rob Roy Macgregor Country to reach desolate Rannoch Moor, one of the last true wildernesses in Europe.
Haunting Glen Coe is next. Known as the "Glen of Weeping", due to the infamous massacre of 1692. Forty of the resident MacDonald clan were massacred in cold blood by the Campbells for not forswearing the Jacobite cause. They say you can still hear their cries!
We'll spend time at Loch Ness, where you can experience a monster-spotting cruise on the loch or simply enjoy a relaxing break.
Tour through the picturesque Cairngorms National Park then, after travelling through the Grampian Mountains, make a stop in Pitlochry for refreshments.
We'll return to Edinburgh by early evening after a fantastic day of discovery and maybe, just maybe………..
Please note this excursion may be operated in reverse.
Day 3 - Edinburgh Sightseeing Tour - Free time - London
Today enjoy an open-top bus tour of Edinburgh to explore the city at your own pace. Hop-off to visit the places that interest you, then catch the next bus to continue your tour.
Discover the New Town with its grand squares and sweeping crescents that feature some of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Europe.
There are dark tales to be told of executions and two of Edinburgh's most infamous citizens, Burke and Hare, as you tour through the Grassmarket.
Hear the tale of Greyfriar's Bobby and see the statue of the little Skye terrier after touring the new Quartermile area.
At the foot of the Royal Mile sits the iconic Scottish Parliament building and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, HM The King's official residence in Scotland.
Finally, there are beautiful views of Arthurs Seat and Holyrood Park to enjoy as we make our way back to the city centre.
If you fancy some retail therapy, you'll find the designer label shopping aplenty in fashionable George Street whilst grand Princes Street provides shopping with unique views.
Try Friendly Stockbridge or Victoria Street, just off the Royal Mile if you're looking for antiques or a quirky souvenir.
All too soon, it's time to head to Waverley Station to board your comfortable train for the return journey to London. Haste ye back!
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Freestyle Train Tour?
This carefully planned semi-independent tour will stretch your holiday time to the max without making you feeling rushed.
A unique combination of travel by train, comfortable accommodation and quality sightseeing will give you extra time to explore Scotland in greater detail.
All the documentation you need, including your rail tickets, will be emailed to you. They are in electronic format, so all you need to do is show them on your smart device. If you prefer, you can print your documents, so you have hard copies.
Any questions or if you need your documents early - just email or call us. We’re here to help.
On tour, you’ll travel independently by train to and from London. We’ll make sure you have a reserved seat, and we’ll send you a comprehensive itinerary so you know what’s planned day by day.
Accommodation is provided in comfortable 3-star hotels that are just a short walk from the railway station and convenient for sightseeing and the tour departure points.
A buffet breakfast is included in the cost of the tour.
The sightseeing tours included in this package are led by an experienced driver/guide who will provide an entertaining and informative commentary in English.
How will I find my hotel?
This Freestyle Train Tour has been very carefully planned. Your hotel has been selected not just for its comfort but also for its location close to the railway station as well as your sightseeing requirements.
Concise directions on how to reach your hotel will be given in your customised tour itinerary.
Tell me more about the optional Loch Ness Cruise?
Mount your very own Nessie adventure by taking a one hour cruise to explore the deep, dark and mysterious waters of Loch Ness.
The cruise boat is equipped with on-board sonar, comfortable seating inside and out as well as toilets.
Refreshments are available for purchase or you can bring packed food.
You can purchase a ticket from your driver/guide on the day of the tour and payment is in cash only.
What happens if I miss my train?
The tickets issued as part of this package are only valid on the train service shown on the ticket and in your itinerary.
If you miss the train, you will need to purchase new tickets at your own expense.
We recommend arriving at the railway stations at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your train so that you have time to locate the departure platform and board your train in good time.
How and when will I get my train tickets?
All your documentation will be emailed to you approximately 7 days before your tour starts. If you require your documentation earlier, just let us know, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.
All the vouchers and tickets will be in electronic format, so all you need to do is download them onto your smart device, and you’re good to go.
If you don’t have a smartphone or prefer hard copies, the documents we send are printer-friendly.
- 2 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Edinburgh (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (2)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Edinburgh Castle
- Full day tour to Loch Ness and the Highlands
- Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Edinburgh
- Return standard class train tickets between London and Edinburgh with seat reservations
- Customised tour itinerary & Official Edinburgh Guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges unless stated above
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From Kings Cross Railway Station
London N1 9AL
Check-in: 06:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 07:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:55 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
IMPORTANT: Once booked this tour cannot be changed or cancelled
The price of this tour includes hotel accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
The times shown above are for guidance only. The train times for your journey will be shown on your tickets and itinerary.
To give you maximum flexibility, admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour (except Edinburgh Castle).
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:(5 /5) 18 Sep 2023
The itinerary was great, I'm amazed at all we SAW! Our guide Paul was almost apologetic about the amount of driving involved, we went to Loch Ness, but it didn't feel long. In fact the 12 hours flew by, as the scenery was breathtaking and we had lots of stops to break up the driving. Paul also kindly added a few extra for our comfort and to be absolutely sure we saw all that we possibly could. And we did!! Prepare to have your jaw drop when you view the stunning highland scenery. Also no stop felt rushed, which on other bus tours we took, was not the case.Marc from Wakefield, US
Rating:(5 /5) 01 Aug 2023
Great tour. Great accommodation. Excellent support. Well organised and very clear instructions. I thoroughly recommend this company Scottish Tours.Nicola from Avenal Invercargill, NZ
Rating:(5 /5) 01 Aug 2023
Really well structured and organised bus tour. Wonderful experience on a class, well presented coach. Joe the guide was both informative and a good laugh. I will definitely do it again in the future.Derek from ATTWOOD, AU